Packing Shed Manager
Abel Tapia is our Packing Shed Manager. His calm and kind demeanor, head for numbers, and attention to detail, make him an excellent leader of the packing side of our business. Abel started working at Frog Hollow about 20 years ago when we had only 33 productive acres. At that time on the farm he says everybody did everything. He harvested, packed, pruned, went to Market, and acted as a driver. He worked along side Farmer Al and the small crew for 6 years before leaving the farm to explore other opportunities. He decided fieldwork was not his passion.
Twelve years later Farmer Al ran into Abel. Al remembered Abel’s good work ethic and great interpersonal skills and offered him the opportunity to come back to the farm to run the packing line.
Abel oversaw our transition from the old packing shed to our new state of the art packing line. He has about 20 people on his summer staff, including inventory receivers and forklift operators, the computer technician (his cousin Fredi), and of course our graders with quick, nimble, and gentle fingers who sort fruit and pack it according to size (small, medium, and large) and grade per our different market channels.
Abel loves the new packing line for a few reasons. The fruit doesn’t pass along the belt for as long and is less susceptible to bruising, and the new packing line is far more efficient. On a busy day the packing team will pack about 25,000 pounds of fruit. The new packing line also makes detailed record keeping easier. Records are kept for each variety of fruit packed, from where in the orchard block the variety came, and how many boxes of each size and grade were packed for each variety and block location. In our peak season the shed will pack up to four or five different varieties a day and keep records for each one.
Creating a fun, positive, and collaborative work environment is important to Abel. He tells his crew that there is no “M” for “Me” in the word Team. He fosters a “we do” attitude. He loves the social aspect of his work and enjoys interacting with his team on continual basis throughout the day to make sure everything is running smoothly. Abel’s favorite fruit is the Cal Red Peach. Thanks to Abel and his crew for all their hard work!